Google buys up coupon company Incentive Targeting

Future plans for the service not disclosed, but perhaps it will become part of Google Wallet?

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 28, 2012
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Google got into the commerce game last year, debuting its payment service, Google Wallet, in May of 2011. Now it has taken another step in that direction by purchasing coupon-targeting company Incentive Targeting, which will allow it to offer targeted deals to users. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The news was first revealed by Mike Dudas, who is “part of the team building Google's mobile commerce business,” on his Twitter account.

The news has since been confirmed on the homepage of Incentive Targeting, in a note from Ben Sprecher, founder and VP of marketing, and Joshua Herzig-Marx, founder and VP of products and services.

“As part of Google, we will have the resources and expertise to continue the transformation of couponing from a way to give discounts to a way to build business. And, we can now work towards that vision as part of a company that improves the lives of hundreds of millions of people every day,” Sprecher and Marx wrote.

”We didn’t reach this milestone alone. From day one, we have relied on the support and commitment of our retailers, brands, investors, partners, and advisors, as well as the hard work and dedication of our team. We could not have done this without them, and as we look ahead, we are thrilled to be part of Google!”

Founded in February of 2007, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Incentive Targeting provides tools to retailers and manufacturers of grocery and consumer products that allow them to deliver coupons and discounts to targeted markets.

What plans Google has for the service are not known at this time, but perhaps it will be integrated into Google Wallet, which works at participating retail stations in the same way a credit card does. Google Wallet uses a "tap and pay" function, wherever Mastercard paypass stations are used. Users can pass their Google Wallet-functional mobile devices over the paypass stations to pay for retail purchases, the same way they could with a credit card.

Perhaps Google might use Incentive Targeting technology to give discounts and coupons to customer upon using the checkout service.

"We look forward to working with Incentive Targeting in our ongoing efforts to help consumers save time and money and enable retailers deliver relevant discounts to the right customers,” a Google spokesperson told VatorNews.

Other recent Google acquisitions

Google’s has made a number purchases this year.

Google bought social network Milk in March, online payment company TxVia in April, along with mobile app Sparrow and social media marketing company Wildfire in July.

Google also purchased Meebo in June for a reported $100 million, and then purchased mobile productivity app maker Quickoffice the next day.

In August, Google acquired the Frommer’s travel brand for $23 million and, in September, it purchased malware scanner VirusTotal for an undisclosed amount.

In October, Google bought up Ukrainian-based face-recognition company Viewdle.

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